Dandelion -Wishes Brought to You- Afterthoughts.

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Heejung Kim has moved out from her mom’s house, who is obsessed with her education. Heejung tries to find her real dream life. Having the impression that everything would go well, she has been living a life obsessed with grades –majoring in business administration, average language skills, not that popular, decent school grades. The only thing she is interested in is the Art Club. As graduation approaches, she starts to worry about her future…

One day, Heejung wakes up to animal sounds.
After that she finds these mysterious animals and her story begins….

I finally completed Dandelion –Wishes Brought to You- and decided to write my overall thoughts of the game. This will mainly be centered on the storylines, the characters, their dynamics with others, and the mysteries peppered throughout the game.

**Please note that this will not be a spoiler-free reflection.

I finally completed Dandelion (after 2 years!) and I wanted to do a quick write-up on what I thought about the game. Since Cheritz moved the game to Steam, I decided to complete the game in terms of getting all the bad endings and picking up any extras I was missing. I also decided to rewatch the good endings through the CG gallery. Due to Mystic Messenger coming out soon, I decided to revisit Cheritz’s first games and remind myself why they are such good games, though not without their problems. In this write-up, I’ll be addressing the structure of the game, the characters along with their story lines, their dynamics between them, and the true ending of the game.

The game starts off with Heejung finding a basket of animals in front of her apartment and though she is a bit hesitant at first, she takes in all of them as her own. Depending on the choices made, Heejung has a particular favorite that she likes to spend time with and everything seems fine for the first couple of months until Heejung’s favorite animal turns into a human, along with the rest of the group. From that point, unbeknownst to Heejung, she has entered a game where the objective of these desperate individuals is to win her love in order to get their wish granted from the magical individual controlling the whole game from the shadows. The player must focus on stats and affection points, as well as each bachelor’s personal issues in order to gain the good ending – lest they fall into the traps of the bad endings. Through the development and the journey of falling in love, Heejung finds herself gaining her own wish that leads her to meeting the game master of it all – the Wizard.

A Lonely but Determined Youth: Heejung Kim

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      In the beginning of the game, Heejung Kim –name isn’t changeable- is a young woman that is nearing her college graduation, but she isn’t quite sure what the next step in her life might be. Little by little the player comes to see that Heejung though she tries hard to live on her own still lives within the shadow of her mother’s expectations, though she hasn’t lived with her in 4 years. Heejung is a product of her environment, but at the same time she isn’t – an environment of having a mother that constantly stressed high achievements and a prestigious background in order to overcome the father that betrayed them and disappeared. In order to make her mother happy, Heejung basically gave her mother complete control of her life, letting her mother sign her up for whatever she wanted, while she tried to do her best to make her mother happy – though it was never good enough. This causes a severe blow to her self-confidence which gives her a deep anxiety about making personal decisions and a deep fear of begin rejected by her mother. Yet, at the same time, Heejung never comes to hate her mother, she actually loves her a lot and is in constant fear of being forgotten by her, but Heejung is also a kind, hardworking woman to the point that she is even told by Jiwoo and Jieun how much of a miracle it is that she come out the way she did within this environment. Her main problem seems to be that she has been unable to make decisions for herself and through the game comes to find her own sense of “self” and worth.

Heejung takes the first step towards doing this by moving to Busan and going to a university that her mother didn’t approve of, but she still goes back to her mother’s previous actions as a security blanket. Heejung is always on the verge of a possible change, but always draws back and it isn’t until she gains the animals and falls in love that she begins to bloom. Depending on the route choosen, Heejung struggles and overcomes her fears with the help of the chosen bachelor. She begins to have her own life, even if it means the absolute rejection of her mother, but she is able to find what she likes and what she wants to do with her life.  However, depending on the route, the development that Heejung has really fluctuates and in how she decides to come out of her shell, which is mainly seen in Jisoo’s, Jiwoo’s, and Jieun’s routes. However, it cannot be said that Heejung isn’t a strong character due to all she has overcome and decides to do throughout the game, but she is a product of her environment and there are certain parts where she draws back and unless she overcomes her past tendencies, she will stay within her static shell…and never become desperate enough to have her own wish.

The Temperamental Black Cat: Jisoo

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      In the beginning, Jisoo is the cute black cat that doesn’t seem to like baths and likes being in the living room area. As a human, Jisoo has a tendency of calling Heejung “foodgiver” with a disposition to watching infomercials. By choosing to focus on Jisoo, it implies that there is an immediate attraction between the two of them, as the Wizard tells Jisoo before the game begins that he has a high chance of winning it all. From the beginning, he seems to be very protective of her, but at the same time he wants all her attention directed towards him and becomes violent when it feels like her affections are moving towards someone else, though they clearly aren’t. As kind and sweet as Jisoo can seem to be, he also has a jealous and temperamental side that can take a dark route, as shown within the bad ending. However, there are signs that Jisoo slowly changes throughout the good route and he genuinely fall in love with Heejung to the point that he just wants her to be happy, even if he isn’t there anymore.

Within Jisoo’s good route, the main problems seem to center around Heejung’s questionable affections and lack of personal development, while Jisoo’s are centered around who he left in the Grimm World and what will happen to Heejung once he leaves. In the beginning, Jisoo seems to get angry over the affection that Heejung shows both him and Jihae, which leads to a major altercation between the two and towards the bad ending if certain choices are made they will affect his increasing paranoia. In the beginning, it seems that Jisoo’s main objective is to simply have Heejung fall in love with him, but that slowly changes when he comes to see Heejung’s personality – this is shown in a particular scene where he calls her “amazing”. From the point on, the main problems are what Heejung wants to do with her life and how she will deal with Jisoo leaving towards the end of the route. Over time, Heejung comes to learn more about Jisoo’s background and the sick younger sister that he left behind. Both he and Heejung are able to grow during their time together and Heejung is able to move forward with her art studies, but her desperation is still strong enough to meet the Wizard – though what comes after that is a completely different struggle. The good ending is bittersweet in the way that Heejung is the only that remembers what happened, but seems to have the same tenacity that Jisoo once had in finding her. When it comes to the bad ending route, Jisoo’s paranoia and temperamental nature take over and Heejung’s inability to tell him what she really feels makes the situation even worse, especially when it comes to seeing her with other men.  Eventually, this completely overtakes Jisoo to the point that he decides to keep Heejung within the apartment, basically drugged the entire time.

Jisoo seems like the typical handsome shoujo love interest cliché. His kindness pushes Heejung to develop her own person and what she wants to do, but there are times where his possessive nature takes control and he just wants her to be with him, which he eventually does get in the end. While his motives for having her fall in love with him were at first related to his personal problems, Jisoo seems to eventually fall in love with her from the bottom of his heart and cares deeply about her well-being even with the possibility that they won’t ever see each other again. However, unlike in a shoujo manga where the “possessive” attitude takes a sweet and romantic turn, Jisoo’s completely overtakes him and it gives this type of attitude a more realistic portrayal, essentially showing that a person cannot completely change overnight or it might make them even worse when they have something that they are infatuated with. While the bad ending is disturbing, it is questionable what Jisoo does to Heejung at the end of the game because of how his attitude could be interpreted and in what way he believes Heejung “belongs” to him – in a way where he is the only one that can touch her or that she is something that shouldn’t be touched by anyone. Looking at two extremes is something that Dandelion keeps doing and questioning — and at times does it well.

A Self-Sacrificing Silver Rabbit: Jihae

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      Jihae is the quiet and regal silver-haired rabbit that seems to be protective of Jieun, though he does seems to have a very self-sacrificing and loathsome outlook about his own person. As a human, Jihae is an extremely attractive person, though he doesn’t seem to know or really understand why most people of this world consider him as such. Due to his personal background and being Jieun’s knight, Jihae is a very hard person to read, even to himself as he doesn’t really know what he likes or what he wants to do with his life outside of being useful to the young prince. Yet, as Heejung comes to spend more time with him, it is shown that Jihae is a kind and patient person who doesn’t want to hurt or bother anyone, while seemingly always being dependent on the role he was given back in the Grass Kingdom. Jihae is someone that seems to have been constantly put down by the circumstances of his life and though he is shown moments of reprieve, they are quickly taken away in a manner that reinforces that “bad omen” he was declared to be. In a similar way to Heejung, Jihae is stuck in a situation that he fears to leave and cannot because of the system in place within his original home. While, he is entering the Wizard’s game to try to bring someone back, he also wouldn’t mind starting over on Earth. After meeting Heejung, Jihae comes to see what he really desires and slowly grows into his own person, but there is also the possibility that all this will have the same tragic ending as before.

In the beginning, it seems really awkward between Jihae and Heejung, mostly because of the miscommunication of Heejung’s inability to look directly at him, which Jihae takes the wrong way. However, this is soon cleared up and Heejung is able to see more of his self-deprecating side. Heejung is able to get closer to Jihae through cooking and spending time with Jieun, but his modeling career along with his past slow down that process. She constantly finds herself questioning whether she should be near Jihae due to his good looks and the constant harassment from his new fans don’t help the situation either. Yet, after seeing what is really going on, Jihae slowly begins to change and spends a lot more time with Heejung who helps him overcome the issues between him and Jieun. However, like the others, he cannot tell her that he will be leaving at the end of the month. Once this happens, Heejung’s desperation quickly escalates and thus she meets the Wizard who takes her memories in exchange for seeing Jihae again – who quickly shows up and finds himself in a situation where he is now taking care of an amnesiac. It seems almost similar to his situation with Jieun, but Jihae appears to be helping Heejung out of his love for her and he doesn’t seem bothered by the place he is in now. On the other hand, his bad ending almost seems like a call back to what happened to him in the Grass Kingdom. While Heejung and Jihae don’t really seem to understand each other, she tries helping him as his manger which eventually leads to a violent altercation with his fans. Once again, he is unable to a help the person dearest to him and he is once again shown to be weak and a “bad omen” to the people surrounding him, thus he does what he believes is best for the now traumatized Heejung – he leaves the apartment, never to be seen again.

Jihae is definitely a creation of the environment he was brought up in. While he might be seen as a noble and steadfast knight, he has rather twisted view of himself because of his background and what he has heard being said about him over the years. He clings to his position, to the point that Jieun states they are dependent on each other for various reasons, but that is shown to have changed once the accident happened. While, he is kind and patient, he still doesn’t know what he personally wants or desires. This attitude is something that he shares with Heejung due to her own upbringing, but that isn’t shown much in the route though they are able to find something that they desire greatly in each other. Yet, there is a lack of personal growth within Heejung (in terms of what she wants do to with her own life) compared to other routes and while there is a great resolution between Jihae and Jieun, they don’t really show what happens to their relationship as a result or even to Jieun, besides all the implications made by the Wizard about what happens to the participants that fail. While, it is interesting that the bad ending once again strengthens what Jihae has been told for years and the escalation is done well, it seems rather overused that it all happened because of his fans – though, that might be a more personal reaction due to playing Nameless before finishing Dandelion.

The Romanticism of a Spotted Rabbit: Jiwoo

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      Jiwoo is a spotted rabbit that likes to spend his time watching dramas or indulging in anything within the romantic genre. From the beginning, Heejung is shown to enjoy teasing Jiwoo by grabbing his paws, something that bothers him greatly. Once all the animals are turned to humans, he is shown to be a rather haughty person that looks down not only on Heejung, but all the animals as well. However, he doesn’t seem to have lost his love for a good trashy romance, whether it be books or dramas and Heejung still loves teasing him, though the others seem to like doing this too now. While, he has strange ideas on how woman should act because of the media he likes to consume, he never seems to coddle Heejung and has a tendency of calling her “stupid”. However, as they spend more time together and through all the miscommunications that they have, Jiwoo is shown to have a sweet side to him that deeply cares about Heejung and her situation, while his influence changes her to become self-sufficient young woman and no longer fear being forgotten by her mother. It might be due to his background, but Jiwoo relates to Heejung in a lot of different levels and is thus able to see how bad her situation is because he has already lived through something similar. Yet, there is still a bitter side to Jiwoo that brought him to the Wizard’s game in the first place, though like Jihae, he is okay with starting over on Earth. Together, Jiwoo and Heejung are able to move on from the dark points in their lives and come out of it stronger than before.

Heejung’s main problem in the beginning is trying to understand Jiwoo and his obsessive view on anything romantic to the point that he has a book club filled with teen writers. While spending time with him, Heejung also finds herself falling for him and tries to make-up with him due to a misunderstanding that they have. Slowly, Jiwoo helps Heejung overcome her fears in regards to her future and her mother, while she helps him overcome the bitterness he feels towards his family. The two of them make a sweet couple, but Jiwoo is aware that he is running out of time and begins a little side project in order to help Heejung. Jiwoo works on the present until the last minute and though it takes them some time, Heejung and Jiwoo are able to meet again with the implication that they are in better scenarios than when he left, with Jiwoo showing that he is on his way to being the “great man” he promised her he would be. However, the bad ending seems a bit choppy as Heejung doesn’t clear up the misunderstanding and goes out with other guys, which eventually causes Jiwoo to leave the apartment and never come back. At the same time, Heejung’s mother ends up finding all the animals’ human belongings within her apartment, which leads to Heejung moving back to Seoul with her mother and doing whatever she wants in order to keep her happy. While it is a bit confusing to follow, this ending is very bittersweet because her last thoughts are about Jiwoo and all the possibilities they could have had together but didn’t happen because of a misunderstanding that was never cleared up, as she keeps living within a lifestyle they fought so hard to overcome.

Due to the environment he was raised in, Jiwoo seems to be the closest to understanding what Heejung is going through and how she might be feeling about everything. However, because of the twist within his own story, he has a different view about what Heejung should do and what she is really afraid of. Though it takes him sometime to talk about his real emotions, Jiwoo is very vocal about his support towards Heejung and makes her see the truth of the whole situation — this is shown to really hit home when he tells her that she is “her own star”. While, he is aware of what she needs to do, he never pushes her and doesn’t become active within the problem until he sees her mother yelling at her. It might be due to his background, but Jiwoo also seems to be the most active of the rabbits because while he still has unsolved issues with his family, he tries to move forward within the human world, unlike the other two.

Due to their personalities, Heejung and Jiwoo start off in a hilarious relationship, but slowly come to understand and complement each other well, though Jiwoo’s strange view of romance does make relationship take a comedic turn here and there. However, he seems the most supportive in pushing Heejung to grow, though his method is different from Jisoo’s. Nevertheless, they complement each other really well in terms of helping the other find something new to strive for. The bad ending calls upon Heejung’s inability to understand Jiwoo from the beginning nor the the magnitude (especially when it comes to romance) of how he sees things in order to move their relationship forward. It is their mutual stubbornness that stops them from progressing, which eventually leads to Heejung being placed under her mother’s rule once more and Jiwoo never being seen again, possibly making their inability to move on completely set in. The saddest thing might be that this simple lack of communication could have been avoided, but neither of them was willing to move forward and thus they never outgrew the shells that they had been placed in because of their families’ actions.

A Two-Faced Orange Cat: Jiyeon

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      Jiyeon is the mischievous orange cat that tends to cause trouble, but his big round eyes always win Heejung over. From the beginning, Heejung likes playing and giving oranges to the playful cat that seems to like being in the bathroom most of the time. Yet, that changes slightly once the animals turn into humans, as Heejung comes to realize that Jiyeon isn’t all that he seems to be with how he disappears for days, suddenly has new items, and is suddenly surrounded by a group of women when she sees him outside. Jiyeon is soon shown to be highly deceptive and very adaptable to any situation that he is placed in due to the environment that he grew up in. Jiyeon is a survivor at heart and does anything in order to live into the next day, something that catches Heejung completely off-guard. While, he is still kind to Heejung, there are certain things he doesn’t want her to see and does his hardest to keep her away from him, to the point that he leaves the apartment for months during one point in the story – this causes Heejung worry severely. It might be due to the environment that he grew up in and the reasons (mainly revenge, like Jiwoo) that led him into the Wizard’s game that make Jiyeon unable to see the suffering he causes others or he simply chooses to ignore it up to a certain point. However, even Jiyeon seems to have a kind and caring side after everything is said and done, as shown when he comes to accept Heejung’s feelings and decides to finally come back home.

In this route, Jiyeon easily wins Heejung’s heart in his cat form with his playful antics and general cute appearance to the point that she spoils him silly. As a human, his cute mannerisms are still there, but Heejung soon realizes that there is more to him than just his carefree smile. Heejung sees him with presents, groups of elderly woman that give him things, and doing rather shady things which all worry her a great deal. However, Jiyeon doesn’t take well to her meddling and tells her to stay away, at times leaving the apartment for months at a time. As Heejung learns more about him, the angrier he seems to be especially when she is brought into the center of a mess he has with some “gangsters” that forces her to ask her mother for money. Due to this, Heejung must listen to her mother’s demands and the rest of the animals soon move out of the apartment, while Heejung has no idea where Jiyeon has gone. During this time, Heejung prepares herself to move back and follow her mother’s orders once more, while enduring a depressive slump due to missing Jiyeon — until one day he appears out of nowhere. With the little time that they have left, both Heejung and Jiyeon enjoy their time together like newlyweds, as Jiyeon opens up to her and explains his orphaned background and how revenge against his old friend lead him to entering the game. Before his time runs out, Jiyeon makes Heejung promise that they will meet again. Though it takes him some time, Jiyeon is able to meet Heejung again, though she lost her memory shortly before meeting him in compliance with her wish being granted by the Wizard. On the other hand, in the bad ending, Jiyeon never comes back and Heejung eventually returns to being under her mother’s thumb in Seoul. The saddest part of it all might be that after everything that has happened with him, Heejung still worries about Jiyeon.

Jiyeon is a very complex person and it is hard to understand him at times, but it is probably due to the environment and circumstances that he was raised in. He is used to using everything in his power in order to survive, regardless of whether it hurts other people. It could be easily be stated that up to a certain point Jiyeon probably never knew what love was nor that he never really loved anyone until he met the elderly woman. In a similar way to Jihae, Jiyeon might not completely understand why a person would love him due to the way he plays with emotions to get what he wants. The incident with his former friend and the elderly woman also works as a way to solidify that he would never have anyone that would love or even care for him, or instilling a fear that he would only end up hurting those that love him.

However, with how vehemently he fights against Heejung’s affection and worry, it is hard to understand how he comes to the conclusion that he should go back to Heejung. He is gone for months, so none of his character development is ever shown; he suddenly comes back a changed person and declares his love for Heejung, which she readily accepts. Jiyeon’s route also seems to have the least empathy or development towards Heejung’s own character. Unlike the other routes, Heejung seems to show the least change in what she wants to do with her life, all she does is worry about Jiyeon and even goes back to her mother in order to get some help for him – something that she doesn’t do in any of the other routes. At the same time, all of Heejung’s effort seem to always have some type of negative effect towards her until she gets rewarded briefly during the latter parts of the route, something that isn’t really done in the other routes. She struggles to help a person she cares about deeply and while she is rewarded with being with him for some time, Heejung doesn’t really grow and the player isn’t really introduced to same emotional development that shows the relationship to be meaningful for both of them, regardless of how cute Jiyeon and Heejung are shown to be together.

A Sleeping Prince: Jieun

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      Jieun is the sleeping rabbit who has a love for apples and never seems to leave Jihae’s side. Jieun tends to do things at his own pace and doesn’t break from his habits of eating apples, spending time on the balcony, and simply following Jihae. At the same time, Jieun always seems to be in his own world without a care, but is actually very observant about the situations and people surrounding him with rather poignant things to say when asked, as shown in Jiwoo’s route. Due to the way he was raised, Jieun is rather closed off to the other animals and Heejung, so it takes her sometime to get him to open up. For several reasons, Jieun is only dependent on Jihae and the same can be said about the knight and while they both realize that this isn’t the best thing for them, neither of them is willing to change the dynamics of their relationship. Due to the time they have spent together and the similarities that they have within their backgrounds, it seems that Jihae is Jieun’s most important person. This is shown with his guilt over the incident related to Jihae and his lover, which is the central reason for why he joined the Wizard’s game. While, Jieun has the tools necessary and is aware of the things that need to change in order for him to grow, he doesn’t have the willingness to move forward until he meets and spends time with Heejung. Together, they are able to grow and move forward with their lives, even when they are apart.

Like with most of the routes, Heejung spends the most of her time with Jieun, though it does take her sometime to win him over since he would rather be with Jihae or doesn’t really pay attention to her. Though it still takes her some time, Jieun is more used to her presence as a human and they spend a lot of time together due to Jihae being away because of his modeling job. Through several different and strange antics, Heejung comes to learn a lot about Jieun, such as how he is royalty back in the Grass Kingdom, how he is considered “special” due to certain circumstances, and how that affected his relationships with Jihae and other people back home. Due to their similar situations, Heejung and Jieun are able to understand each other and are able to give each other advice from the other’s point-of-view. Together, Jieun is able to overcome his fear and be more assertive of his own decisions, while finally being able to let Jihae go in a bittersweet way. At the same time, Heejung is able to talk to her mother about what she actually wants to do with her life, much to her mother’s displeasure. Even after all the other animals are gone, the two of them seem all right with that, though Jieun tries to prepare her for when he finally leaves. Slowly, he is able get her to understand that she can keep moving forward even without him there and thus he disappears the next day, but due to everything she has learned and all the growth she gone through, Heejung doesn’t fall into the same desperation as in the other routes and thus never calls upon the Wizard to fulfill her wish. Three years pass and while she misses Jieun greatly, Heejung is able to move forward and start a budding art career with her first exhibition. Towards the end of the route, Heejung hears a familiar voice and is able to see Jieun once gain. Yet, unlike other routes, Jieun doesn’t have a bad ending, though the wrong level of affection can lead the player into the “chicken ending” more than once.

Due to the environments that they were raised in, Jieun and Heejung have a lot of similarities in how they interact with people and the situations they are placed in, though there are slight differences. At the same time, both of them seem to be aware of what they need to do in order to move out of these situations, but are too afraid to do it on their own. For most of the route, Jieun uses Jihae as a shield and clings to him for nearly everything and though both of them know that this is unhealthy neither of the two is willing to change the relationship that protects them so well. The first crack in this contract happens during the accident surrounding Jihae’s lover and the guilt Jieun feels over not doing anything about it, which eventually leads to both of them entering the Wizard’s game. This continues during the early part of his route as he spends more time with Heejung, who he seems to be using for the same effect as he does Jihae.  However, this changes due to Heejung’s own want to help Jieun open up more. At the same time, through his own development and what they talk about, Heejung is able to grow and make her own decisions about what she wants to do with her life. They are able to see things from a new perspective and even though they aren’t together for some time, they take the other’s words to heart and move forward with their responsibilities until they met again. Showing that they can work well even when apart might make Jieun and Heejung the strongest couple of all.

His Most Desperate Wish: The Wizard

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      After getting all the endings, the player gets an explanation to the background and the reasoning as to why the Wizard created the game, which it actually quite surprising. The Wizard explains to the player the type of being that he is — an almost immortal being that grants wishes at the price of certain memories, but as time passed he has grown tired of doing the same repetitive job over and over again only to be forgotten by those that meet him for a brief moment of time. While casually gazing at the Grimm World and Earth through his set boundaries, he sees Heejung’s life and questions her motivations for living under her mother’s rule while never desiring anything. Heejung’s first move towards rebellion and the continuing four years of static intrigue him and cause the Wizard to come up with a plan that would create a situation that would make Heejung desperate enough to have a wish and thus he would finally be able to meet her face-to-face. He goes on to explain that he became obsessed with seeing her, regardless of who she fell in love with and that he kept rewinding time in order to see her, even for a moment. In the end, his desperation wins over the battle between his heart and logic, and thus he wishes to be with her.

It was really surprising to see the desperation that comes from the Wizard, especially when he is so calm and even cruel whenever he meets Heejung at the end of each route. It is also ironic that the Wizard goes after someone that he could have never met because of how she handles all the situations that she is placed in; towards the end of his explanation he has become the same as all the animals he placed in his twisted game (something that he seems to mock them over whenever they meet, though he has is in the same boat as them, possibly for quite longer). It could be further said that he has become as desperate as the people that come to see him in order to be in a world where he can be with Heejung — there is a sense of a darker want to his wish because Heejung has never meet him, unlike the animals whose wishes are connected to people they care about, this is shown extremely clearly in the monologue he goes into during the last scenes of his explanation. The irony of it all is really wonderful; especially considering that the Wizard entered this madness willingly since Heejung never knows who he really is outside of him using his ability to grant her wish and then quickly forgets him– it is the opposite of most situations the animals came to get his help for. However, what is the most surprising is that not one of the endings can be considered canon, but at the same time they can be because of the way the Wizard kept replaying the game. Everyone gets their happy ending at one point, but the true victor in the end might be the Wizard himself after finally granting his own wish.

Final Thoughts

    Dandelion is a story about people who are looking for change, but while they might not really find exactly what they were hoping for, there is always a chance that they have found something else. At the same time, wishes don’t always come true, as seen with the bad endings and what the Wizard’s ending means for the other 5 main characters. It takes a strong force to move people onto the path of seriously changing who they are, as shown with Heejung. However, that isn’t enough and people simply cannot move away from their old ways and habits – as shown in almost everyone’s bad endings. People might find an easy shortcut for their problems or simply choose to ignore them, but that can only last for so long because as the Wizard shows – not everything can be conveniently forgotten or solved. Outside of what the game might show to the player, the majority of the characters have great character development and the game for the most part does a good job at showing it happen, but Heejung is the one that really shines because in certain routes she is able to push herself forward and is able to follow her dreams without fear even when she no longer has the one she loves the most at her side. In that aspect, it shows that even desperate wishes cannot really replace hard work, though there are other times were it can, and that there are times in life when it is just impossible for a person to get what they want no matter how hard they try. Personally, Heejung’s dilemma hits too close to home, but it was wonderful to see her become her own person, though frustrating that she loses part of that because of the Wizard. At the same time, it raises the question whether the nature of one’s own personality or whether the circumstances of life are at fault…or if it is all just a big game of luck.

  Aside for the stat raising, Dandelion is a game that I really enjoyed.  I say that I disliked the stats because while it does make the game a bit harder and engaging, it was just too repetitive and tiresome towards the end when I was just trying to get Jiwoo’s bad ending; I almost gave up on the game again because of that. At the same time, the stat system didn’t really add anything besides making the game harder and the play time longer; there wasn’t an added bonus for using it. The only thing that was relatively enjoyable was the sight game where the player had to look for stickers in order to open certain things within the gallery. Another thing that was really bothersome about the game were certain aspects of the writing. Some of the writing was really weak in certain areas, such as the misconception that happens during Jiwoo’s bad ending and the constant involvement of fangirls during Jihae’s route and bad ending.

When Dandelion first came out, there were a lot of problems with Jisoo’s bad ending and with certain aspects of Jiyeon’s route because of how they treated Heejung. This really eclipsed the talk of the game and it simply turned some people off, even though they didn’t know all the details of the others routes or even the reasons behind the cats’ endings. I wrote this to shine a bit of light on all the routes and to show that the rabbits have some great stories and interactions with Heejung, while noting Jisoo’s good ending is well-done in showing that there are two sides to every coin. Personally, I might not agree with everything that happens in Jiyeon’s route, but it does have somewhat good explanations behind it. Not everything is great within Dandelion, but one or two things shouldn’t stop someone for playing a rather large game that has so much more to offer!

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4 responses to “Dandelion -Wishes Brought to You- Afterthoughts.

  1. Congrats on finishing the game! 🎆🎇🎉🎊
    You brought up really good points about the game, and I do like seeing a more mature narrative.
    Sadly, I don’t really like stat raisers, I don’t seem to have patience for them 😅
    You’ve made me intrigued/want to play it ;_;

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    • Thank you for taking the time to read it! I think otoges that are not placed in high school setting have a lot of potential to bring out a lot of different issues. It think Dandelion does that, but people aren’t used to that being part of the game (like in Ozmafia) especially if it is not done well. It might also be that since the Western market doesn’t have a lot of otoges, we aren’t used to a more mature story thus far.
      I don’t like stat raisers either, which is probably why it took me so long to finish the game, but they do a better job in Nameless. Hopefully, if you ever have the time, you might check it out!

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  2. I agree with you so much about the stat raising aspect. It really detracts from the overall enjoyment of the game because it’s just so tedious, especially after the first play through. It loses any kind of appeal by the last couple of routes, especially if you’re trying for a certain end. I am glad they avoided that in Nameless.

    I really love how you explored the complexities of all of the endings here though. This game has so many layers to it and to the characters. Heejung really is the star though. I love her so, so much, probably my favorite otome protagonist or at least one of them. She gets so much development and she comes from such a terrible place and is such a great person and with the proper encouragement and support, can really soar.

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    • Thank you taking the time to read it! But, yes! I really did dislike the stat raising and it was a better experience in Namesless because it was gone. I hope they continue it in Mystic Messenger.
      There is a lot to take from both the characters and stories in Dandelion, so that’s why it ended up so long to write this, but I loved the attention to detail they put in all the endings to the characters and the changes that they might had made. But I agree that Heejung really does shine with all of the changes she goes through and how she strives with everything. Definitely a fav!

      Liked by 1 person

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